"An Association Of Life Savers And Care Givers That Served In Post world War II Japan"

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Stemming from the United States Army Medical Center, the United States Army Medical Command, Japan was activated 25 March, 1959, with Colonel Charles E. Mosely, MC, Commanding. The initial units included:

          • U.S. Army Hospital, Camp Zama.
          • 406th Medical General Laboratory.
          • U.S. Army Veterinary Service Branch, Camp Zama.
          • U.S. Army Dental Clinic, Camp Zama
          • U.S. Army Dispensary, Yokohama.
          • U.S. Army Dental Clinic, Yokohama


The Medical Command had the mission of providing Medical Services and Supplies to all U.S. Army Personnel stationed in Japan. The mission changed drastically in 1965 with the advent of the Vietnam War. Additional units were brought in from the Continental United States to support the war effort. These units included:

          • 249th General Hospital at Camp Drake.
          • 106th General Hospital at Kishine Barracks.
          • 7th Field Hospital at Johnson Air Force Base and at Camp Oji (Ogi).
          • 628th Illustration Detachment.
          • 587th Helicopter Detachment.
          • 627th Hospital Center.
          • 504th Medical Depot.
          • 602nd Medical Ambulance Attachment.
          • 153rd Medical Mobile Laboratory Detachment.
          • 629th Medical Detachment (RENAL)

Additional U.S. Army Medical Units that served in Japan during the post World War II era were:

          • Tokyo General Hospital.
          • Osaka General Hospital.
          • U.S. Army Medical Laboratory.
          • 382nd General Hospital.
          • 118th General Hospital.

          • U.S. Army Hospital, Camp Drew (11th Evacuation Hospital).
          • U.S. Army Hospital, Kishine Barracks.
          • U.S. Army Hospital, Sendai.
          • U.S. Army Hospital, Kuma Station.
          • U.S. Army Hospital, Camp Oji (Ogi).

There probably were other units that served in Japan from 1945 to the present date. If you know of any, please send the names to the Secretary/Treasurer when you return your personal data form.






History Of US Army Hospital, Camp Zama, Japan1

1942 - 1979

The first hospital buildings at the present site were built by the Japanese in  1940, with a capacity of 300 beds. In 1943, the complex was enlarged to a 1000 bed  capacity and was known as the Sobudai-mai Japanese Military Hospital.


The 128th Station Hospital, forerunner of the present unit was activated 20 December, 1942 at Camp Beale, California. It departed the United States on 28 January, 1944 aboard the USAT LST 1758 and arrived in New Guinea on 23 February, 1944.


It then moved aboard USS Lauaca to the Philippine Islands arriving on 13 August, 1945. The hospital remained in the Philippines until 1 September, 1945, in staging areas at San Fernando, La Union, and at Satanges, all on Luzon. On 16 August, 1945, the hospital was attached to the IX Corps, 8th US Army. It departed the Philippine Islands aboard LST  1106 to Tokyo Bay. The 128th was to be part of a large invasion which was never needed.


While the document declaring the surrender of Japan and the cessation of hostilities in the Pacific was being signed on 2 September, 1945, the 128th Station Hospital was battling a Typhoon off the coast of Okinawa. When the Typhoon struck the LST 1106, most of the hospital equipment was lost at sea. A particularly large toll was taken in medical vehicles as the loading doors of the vessel were torn away by the storm.


Shortly after General Douglas MacArthur stepped on Japanese soil at which is now Atsugi Naval Air Station, the medics from the 128th Station Hospital and the Military Police, two of the very 1st units to land, arrived in this area to assist in the release of American Prisoners of War interned in Camps in the Tokyo-Yokohama area. Setting up the 1st Medical Installation at Camp Zama, the commanding officer of the 128th arrived at the Japanese Military Hospital, Sagami-Ono, to accept it's surrender on 26 September, 1945. Only General Kiyoshi Shimazu, Japanese Commanding General of the hospital, and his white horse awaited the arrival of the Yanks. Meeting the American doctor at the gate, the General, in traditional manner, surrendered his sword. At this time, he presented the American his horse, thereby starting a story which has become a fond legend of the US Army Hospital, Camp Zama, Japan. The horse, christened, "Duke" by the staff, is still a part of the hospital lore.


Duke was originally owned by Prince Kanin of the Imperial Family. Friend of everyone, he was soon adopted as mascot of the hospital, and probably hauled more soldiers on his back than any horse in the Orient. Later, when the hospital was to know another influx of wounded men from the new battlefields of Korea, Duke was an important part of the therapy department, ridden by many of the patients. Finally he had the misfortune of stepping into a hole and breaking his leg. Ordered destroyed by the commanding officer, the pleading of the Japanese groom caused the officer to reverse his decision. Due to the excellent care given him by the groom and his medical friends, Duke was once more walking about the grounds in good health. However, the time was passed when he could be mounted, so he spent his declining years donating blood for research to the 406th Medical General Laboratory. In August, 1957, Duke breathed his last and is buried on the hospital compound.


The 128th Station Hospital initially operated as a communicable disease hospital. There was not a change in it’s mission until the outbreak of hostilities in Korea. On 1 November, 1950, the 128th Station Hospital was absorbed by the 141st General Hospital for the period of one month. In anticipation of a large influx of casualties from Korea, the 141st was ordered to Fukuoka in Southern Japan. Leaving on 1 December, 1950 they took with them their personnel and equipment. Orders were then received to reorganize the 128th Station Hospital as a 300 bed hospital. One hundred beds were transferred from the 141st General Hospital upon it’s departure and by 5 December, 1950, ninety-seven casualties from Korea were received, great number of which were general hospital type cases. The departure of the 141st left the 128th with equipment for 100 bed hospital, but the patient load had arisen to two hundred eighty-seven patients.

On 1 December, 1950, there were nine officers, one warrant officer, and forty-two enlisted men assigned. The personnel were supplemented with nine Department of the Army civilians and two hundred-seven indigenous employees. The sudden move of the 141st resulted in two hundred eighty-seven patients to be cared for before adequate equipment could be obtained and adequate personnel moved in to operate and reorganize the hospital. This scenario created a state of confusion. From 1 July, 1950 to 24 June, 1951, a total of 4,370 patients were admitted to the hospital. Of this number, 2,226 were from Korea and the United Nations Army fighting there.

In 1952, the 128th Station Hospital was re-designated the United States Army Hospital, 8169th Army Unit.

Following the Korean War, the hospital reverted to a 100 bed unit primarily furnishing medical services to units in the Camp Zama area. With the opening of the new building, the 8168th Army Hospital in Yokohama was closed and the hospital at Zama was given the responsibility for hospitalization of units and dependants in the Yokohama area. Authorized beds were increased to 250 to accommodate the increased requirements. At the same time, the USAH, 8169th Army Unit was released from the assignment to Camp Zama and placed under the Chief Surgeon AFFE/8A for operational control and technical training. Area responsibility for dispensary services was added to the hospital mission in April, 1955. In addition, the hospital again received evacuees from Korea starting in August, 1955.

The Army Medical Service has contributed greatly to the health of the Japanese during the occupation years in many ways. It provided them with medicines and professional services which were lacking from the local scene during those years. Young doctors, graduates from such outstanding universities as Tokyo University, Kaio University, Kyoto University, and Tohoku University were doing intern work at the United States Army Hospital, Camp Zama. Much of their training was in preparation for further work in civilian hospitals in the United States and Japan.

The 406th Medical General Laboratory, commanded by Colonel Joe Blumberg, moved from Tokyo into their new buildings in the hospital compound in February, 1956. Already progress had been made in joint utilization of personnel and facilities contributing to the more economical operation of both units and to improve the medical service as a whole.

On 1 September, 1957, the operating bed level of the hospital was raised to 350. During September the influx of new personnel started and once again the hospital began receiving evacuations from from Korea in large numbers. The first evacuation to the United States departed 20 September, 1957. Work had begun in August, 1957 to expand it to specialized treatment center for the Far East Command.

On 25 December, 1957, the hospital was expanded to 400 operating beds. Information was received early in January, 1958 that the hospital would be further expanded to 450 beds, effective 30 January, 1958. The peak load of patients in the hospital was reached on 25 February, 1958 when 432 patients were on the rolls.

In accordance with the United States Army Japan Surgeon’s plan for the roll-up of activities in Japan, the United States Army Hospital, Camp Zama had been designated as a specialized treatment in September, 1957. All specialties were gradually phased from Tokyo to Zama during fiscal year, 1958.

The United States Army Medical Center, Japan was established on 15 January, 1958, designating the United States Army Hospital, Camp Zama as the United States Medical Center, Japan. On activation of the Center, personnel formerly assigned to the hospital were appointed to set up and operate the Headquarters of the Center, which was designed to furnish complete administrative and logistical support to the U.S. Army Hospital, Camp Zama and to the 406th Medical General Laboratory.

On 25 March, 1959, the United States Army Medical Center, Japan was re-designated as the United States Army Medical Command, Japan.


On 1 June, 1960, the operating bed capacity of the Zama Hospital was reduced from 200 to 150 with a capability of expanding to 500 beds.

As the number of Army personnel diminished in United States Army, Japan, so did the work load of the hospital. By early 1965, the occupied beds were down to 100. The fate of the hospital appeared to be to cut to a General Dispensary. Then came an increase in hostile activities from Southeast Asia. In the final quarter of 1965, patients being evacuated from the Republic of Vietnam severely taxed the capacity of the hospital staff. Temporary relief came in the form of temporary duty personnel from Korea and the Continental United States, pending arrival of permanent party personnel from CONUS. The operating bed capacity was rapidly elevated to 500 beds with a target of 1000 beds

Two General Hospitals, a Field Hospital, a Headquarters Hospital Center, an Illustration Detachment, a Renal Detachment, a Helicopter Ambulance Detachment, and a Medical Ambulance Company were added to support the Medical Command mission.

On 7 December, 1965, the 7th Field Hospital became operational at Johnson Air Base. On 29 December, 1965, the 106th General Hospital became operational at Kishine Barracks in Yokohama. On 30 December, 1965, the 249th General Hospital became operational at Camp Drake in Asaka.

What was formally known as U.S. Army Medical Center, Japan with duty station at Sagami-Ono, Japan was re-designated U.S. Army Hospital, Camp Zama, Japan by USARJ GO 13, dated 19 January, 1966. All units formally assigned to the United States Army Medical Center, Japan at Sagami-Ono were relieved from such attachment/assignment and were assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Army Medical Command, Japan which was located in Bldg. 102 at South Camp Zama. The 406th Medical General Laboratory was attached to the United States Army Hospital, Camp Zama for logistical support. All actions were effective 10 January, 1966, as directed by USARJ GO 14,15,16,17,18, and 21, dated 19 January, 1966.

The U.S Army Hospital, Camp Zama was authorized on 7 March, 1966 to expand to a 1000 operating bed facility. The only new construction that was required for this expansion was the erection of a prefabricated building for housing the local national employees.

On 7 October, 1966, a change in the mission statement, provided for the maintenance and operation of 700 fixed beds.

In 1968, the U.S. Army Environmental Health and Engineering Agency establishes operation in Okinawa.

The hospital has served with distinction throughout it’s history. It was awarded the Presidential Meritorious Unit Citation for it’s service during the Vietnam Era.

In November, 1979, the hospital closed and relocated from it’s Sagami-Ono site to become an ambulatory care clinic on nearby, Camp Zama. In 1983, the unit was re-designated as Medical Department Activity - Japan (MEDDAC - J), and now serves as the sole Army Medical Treatment facility supporting U.S. Army Japan and the 9th Theatre Support Command.

The U.S. Army Medical Department Activity, Japan (MEDDAC-J) provides outpatient primary care services to active duty personnel, retired military, Department of Army civilians, and their families. While the main service of MEDDAC-J is primary care, physical therapy, optometry, dental, and behavioral sciences health service are available as well.

MEDDAC-J is staffed by family practice and general medicine physicians and a nurse practitioner who see all authorized beneficiaries. Social workers provide individual, marital, family, and group counseling.

While active duty and their family members and retirees and their eligible family members receive medical care at the clinic at no cost, civilians are charged for care received at either the military or Japanese health care facilities. The MEDDAC-J Community Relations Officer will liaison between the host nation hospital and the patient to ensure prompt payment to the hospital. Payment mechanisms differ depending on the beneficiary category of the patient. Any questions concerning payments are to contact MEDDAC-J Community Relations Officer.

Specialists in pediatrics, surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics, dermatology, urology, allergy, and radiology are available at local Air Force and Navy hospitals. Referral by a MEDDAC-J provider is necessary for an appointment to see a specialist. However, MEDDAC-J personnel will assist in obtaining these appointments once the primary care manager refers the patient to specialty care. MEDDAC-J also provides a shuttle to and from Navy and Air Force Medical Treatment Facilities.

Beneficiaries requiring in-hospital care are deferred or evacuated to the 374th Medical Group, Yokota U.S. Naval Hospital, Yokosuka or host nation medical facilities such as Kitazato University Hospital in Sagamihara City if the required care is not available in the military system.

In March 1999, MEDDAC-J received a full three year accreditation from the the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

MEDDAC-J is part of the Pacific Regional Medical Command with headquarters at Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii






II  Japanese Law

A. Introduction.

As guests in Japan, we have no special privileges entitling us to disregard local laws. For offenses against Japanese law, we may be arrested, tried, and sentenced by Japanese authorities.

Japan is a fascinating country - different enough from any other to make a stay here, pleasant and interesting. The Japanese are polite and helpful; a courteous request for information is usually successful despite the difference in language. We are all guests in their country and Japanese traditions require them to honor their guests. A pleasant and relaxed friendliness on our part will go a long ways in making friends.

American citizens in Japan are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that will reflect credit to our country and gain the respect and good will of the Japanese people.

There is a set of ground rules under which we live and work in harmony with the Japanese people. This is the Status of Forces Agreement


B. Application.

Status of US Forces in Japan

First, the status of U. S. Forces in Japan. Japan and the United States entered into a Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. One of the articles agreed to in the treaty is Article VI, in which Japan, for the purpose of accomplishing “cooperation” and maintaining “security”, grants to the United States the use of facilities and areas by our forces, and stipulate that the use of these facilities and areas, as well as, the status of our forces in Japan shall be governed by a separate agreement.

An important part to remember during your stay in Japan is that under the agreement we start without any privileged status in Japan, and then we are granted certain privileges and dispensations by our Japanese host which are not given other foreigners. We are sugject to Japanese Law and regulations pertaining to aliens unless the agreement specifically exempts us from from their applicability.

The agreement grants exemption to most Japanese immigration laws and regulations. All American personnel must have identification cards in their possession at all times and are required to present them to Japanese authorities upon request in order that their status may be verified.

Closely linked to immigration is the matter of customs. We are subject to Japanese custom laws and regulations unless specifically exempted in the agreement. We are NOT authorized duty-free import for ANY items except for our own use. Import for any other purpose is smuggling!


Japanese Civil and Criminal Law as Applied to U. S. Forces


The agreement on criminal jurisdiction applies to all U. S. Military Personnel.

Under this agreement, the Japanese courts have the right, in some cases, to try and punish members of the U.S. Armed Forces for violations of the law.

The authority of the military courts and military police is not changed. If you break a U.S. Military Law, you will be tried and punished by a U. S. Military Court.

Our government retains exclusive authority over the U.S. personnel for all offenses which are punishable under our law, but not under Japanese Law.

Usually there will be the so-called "military offense"  such as AWOL, desertion, disrespect to a superior officer, etc. Such offenses, of course, relates only to the military service. They are not crimes under Japanese law, and in  these cases, the Japanese can take no part.

In addition, the U.S. has exclusive authority over personnel committing an offense against the SECURITY of the United States. This would include treason, sabotage, and espionage.

If you break a Japanese law, you can be tried by a Japanese Court. Obviously, many offenses, such as robbery, murder, rape, and assault are covered by both, U.S. Military Law and Japanese Law.

The U.S. has primary jurisdiction over MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES  who commit offenses while in the performance of official duty or offenses solely against another U.S. Armed Forces member, or offenses involving only property of the United States.

Japan has primary jurisdiction over U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL in all  other cases. For instance, if a U.S. Serviceman assaults a Japanese workman on a U.S. Installation, the serviceman is subject to trial in the Japanese courts. The military police may arrest, because they are maintaining order on the installation, but the trial will be in a Japanese court if Japan decides to exercise jurisdiction.

Our Government and Japan will cooperate with each other in arrests, investigation, and the collection of evidence. In most cases, the U.S. will be given custody until the accused person has been formally charged by Japan.

The Japanese are exercising their jurisdiction rights. The Japanese do convict U.S. Armed Forces personnel, and a substantial portion of those who are convicted DO serve jail sentences in Japan.

A majority of those confined were convicted of robbery and most of those were robberies of taxi drivers, late at night. Under Japanese Law, the use of force against a taxi driver and  FLEEING WITHOUT PAYING THE TAXI FARE constitutes robbery even though nothing else was taken from him.

Another one of the best ways to get into serious trouble is through any type of incident involving a firearm. You were instructed not to bring any firearms with you. If by some chance you do have a firearm, register it immediately with the Provost Marshall.

Japanese courts proceed much like our own, and your rights in Japan are similar to your rights in the United States. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are prosecuted by Japanese authorities have the same rights as are guaranteed to all persons by the Japanese constitution, or provided by Japanese laws.


You must show the official identification card when so requested by the Japanese authorities. When a Japanese asks to  see your ID card, you comply with his request. He has the right to know who you are in Japan. Your ID card is enough.

You are not to engage in political activities.

You are not to engage in SALE or BARTER of duty-free American goods. If you sell or give away tax-free goods, you are engaging in "black market transactions and you can be tried by the Japanese criminal courts,

In general, if you are obeying U.S. laws, you are obeying Japanese laws.

A word to the wise, be careful and be cautious. Avoid political discussions and discussion about your unit and activities. Be tactful and un-argumentative to avoid incidents.




The people of Japan live by a somewhat formal code of social conduct. Getting along here depends largely upon politeness and obedience to authority. Paternalism is a characteristic of Japan, not only in their  bosses and employers as the "old man" who protects their interests and takes care of them in sickness and old age.

The Japanese are a neat and orderly people, believing in  a place for everything and everything in its place.  The keynote of Japan is simplicity. This is evident in theeir homes, gardens, flower arrangements, art, and textile patterns. And they love beauty, harmony and delicate art. They are also thrifty, hard-working, and practical.

 In Shops

Many times, on entering a shop, you will be greeted by the expression "Irasshaimase" which simply means welcome. On leaving, you will probably hear "ArigatoGoaimasu," meaning, Thank You. Neither of them expressions require any particular answer from you.

Unlike the shops back home, also some of the older Japanese art mor craft shops do not often display their best products for everyone to see. They may be waiting for a discriminating connoiseur to come along - this may be you - one who they feel may appreciate their prized items and can give them a good home. If you don't see exactly what you want, ask for it - but expect to pay the price.

A word about bargaining - never do it in a department store or similar place where prices are fixed and where you are dealing with an employee only. To do so would be rude. Otherwise, however, the Japanese shop keeper appreciates a friendly haggling over the price,

Tips on Riding Trains

The Japanese push and shove and squeeze - and go all out to get a seat - or even a place to stand comfortably. The only advice to take is: FOLLOW THE CROWD. Push a little, if you have to, to avoid being trampled on. But remember, also, to be discreet: when a Japanese shoves, he is part of the crowd - when an American shoves, he stands out like a sore thumb.

Leave You Shoes Outside

The Japanese leave their shoes outside the door to protect their floors. This is important, since the family sits and sleeps on the floor. Outdoor shoes track in dirt and  soon wear out the Tatami (reed matting) that covers the floor. It would be as ill-mannnered for you to walk on the Tatami with shoes or slippers on as it would be for you to put your shoes on the sofa cushions of your American host. So when you call on Japanese friends,, be ready to slip out of your shoes before entering the house. When you reach a Tatami, take the SLIPPERS OFF.

Bathing Japanese-Style

The first thing to remember about the public bath is not to get into it until you are clean. Use a small basin outside the bath for a thorough scrubbing with soap, then you rinse well with hot water. The tub water is just for soaking and relaxing. Other persons must use the same water - which is very hot, incidentally - so it should be as clean when you get out as when you get in. Don't look for big, downey towels. A linen  cloth about the size of a guest towel serves for both washing and drying. After washing, rinse the cloth and wring it dry. When you are through soaking in the bath, use the same cloth to wipe away excess moisture and let evaporation take care of the rest. Otesrai is the toilet.




Appropriate dress is considered to be of special importance in an overseas area where the local population can be expected to form definite favorable or unfavorable impressions of Americans based partly on their standards of dress and appearance. .In general, civilian clothing worn on a military installation should be comparable to that worn in the average civilian community in the United States except that when personnel are off post, the generally accepted customs of Japan should be considered.


A continuance of the high standards of community relations is the ardent desire and aim of this command, and necessary to permit continued good relations.

Individual acts which cause embarrassment to the United States must be avoided regardless of the source and status of the perpetrator. Boisterous conduct, excessive public drinking, political agitation, overt display of wealth, and disturbances are not conducive to good relations. The key to better relations is respect for the standards of one's fellow man, regardless of race, color, creed, and by exercising this principle you will not fail yourself between our two great nations.

Remember, your appearance and behavior can be a deciding factor in the furure relations between our nations. Please do your part to help us keep Japan our friend.